Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grow A Garden & Reduce Your Grocery Bill

Wow, we have had a busy week around here. I have had to have some home repairs and have been dealing with the mess that was left behind. I feel like I am so behind in everything. Luckily my job didn’t have too much to do this week for me. Today the weather is so nice that it has me thinking of my garden for this year. I have had one for the last 5 years and find that it saves me a bundle each year in groceries. I plan to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, squash, bell peppers, banana peppers, cabbage, and watermelon.

The tomatoes will be used by making salsa, homemade marinara, salads, and canned to use in soups and stews for the fall. My daughter and I also love to just eat a tomato with salt and pepper for a snack sometimes. I always have good luck with them. Most years I yield enough to give to some family members that don’t have gardens.

The cucumbers I will be using them for salads and canning pickles. We usually end up harvesting enough to make us sick of picking them but in the winter when we have the jars of pickles in the pantry we are proud that we grew them.

Radishes are something that we also have good luck with. These I think are some of the easiest to plant. They don’t need a lot of love and care and my daughter loves to cut them up and eat them on her salads.

I started planting squash about 3 years ago and have always gotten some of the biggest squash that I have ever seen. We love to use them in veggie dishes wherever they will fit in. I usually end up having plenty to freeze and use during the winter.

The bell peppers are also something that I freeze when I have enough to. Bell pepper prices, when in any color other than green, are so expensive fresh in the stores. We are a house that likes fajitas and stir fry’s, and we love to use fresh veggies when possible.

Cabbage goes quick around my house. We love to cook cabbage soup. I usually get enough to freeze a few heads for the winter. Watermelons are a favorite fruit in my house but I have not been having luck in the past few years growing them but I still attempt to successfully grow them.

As you can see I love to garden. It started when I became a work-at-home mom and decided that I would make an effort that year to have one and immediately got hooked on the idea of growing my own veggies. I suggest to everyone, even if you have a small area, to at least grow tomatoes. That will alone help your grocery budget.

For more info on how to set up & grow a garden, check out High Density Gardening written by Ric Wiley. You will find tips on where to set up a garden, the difference in organic fertilizers and in-organic fertilizers and which will work for you, tips on seed buying, and much more. It also has a full color 2 page guide for each vegetable that offers all of the info needed to grow it.

Just wondering if any of you are planning a garden, and if so, which veggie is your favorite? Leave a comment and share.

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